According to the pilot of the Evektor Sportstar, during the takeoff from the runway in San Jose, Calif., the cockpit canopy began to open and rotate forward.
The airplane had lifted off and was about 10 feet above the runway when the pilot reached up with his right hand to grab the canopy and hold it down.
He decided to abort the takeoff. He could not manipulate the throttle, keep a hand on the control stick, and hold the canopy at the same time.
The airplane landed at a groundspeed of about 55 knots and went off the side of the runway, substantially damaging the left wing root and buckling the fuselage behind the firewall. The pilot received minor injuries.
The post-accident examination of the canopy locking mechanism revealed that the canopy latch and handle were functioning properly.
The NTSB determined the probable cause of the accident was the pilot’s failure to maintain directional control during the landing roll. Contributing to the accident was the pilot’s failure to adequately latch the canopy before takeoff.
NTSB Identification: WPR13CA142
This March 2013 accident report is provided by the National Transportation Safety Board. Published as an educational tool, it is intended to help pilots learn from the misfortunes of others.